Remembering all those who served:
As we honor the heroes of the past, let’s not forget those in the present, and the price paid not only by those who go to Iraq and Afghanistan, but those who are left at home.
“In Iraq and Afghanistan, our service members aren’t the only ones making a sacrifice; military families are bearing the burden as well. Already, more than 600,000 troops have served more than one tour in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. These service members are missing Christmases, birthdays, and wedding anniversaries, sometimes years in a row. As we approach the holidays, we must keep in mind both the emotional and financial toll of multiple deployments on our military families.”
Add to that the estimates that one in five of those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or depression. If that weren’t enough, there’s this cost of a permanent state of war:
“Sixteen American soldiers killed themselves in October in the U.S. and on duty overseas, an unusually high monthly toll that is fueling concerns about the mental health of the nation’s military personnel after more than eight years of continuous warfare.
The Army’s top generals worry that surging tens of thousands more troops into Afghanistan could increase the strain felt by many military personnel after years of repeated deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The October suicide figures mean that at least 134 active-duty soldiers have taken their own lives so far this year, putting the Army on pace to break last year’s record of 140 active-duty suicides. The number of Army suicides has risen 37% since 2006, and last year, the suicide rate surpassed that of the U.S. population for the first time.”
How can we best honor our men and women serving today? In my opinion, bring them home.